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4 Ways Land Document Images, Records and Reports Aid Legal Due Diligence

April 18, 2019  //  BY Team DataTree

Legal professionals make it their business to assess risk on behalf of clients. In the world of real estate, this typically means gathering and reviewing reams of documents. The goal is to confirm everything from chain of title and encumbrances to zoning regulations and rent rolls. The highly detailed process of finalizing a property transaction requires verification of these bits of data in order to shield clients from unforeseen liability.

Using traditional methods of manual document review, it is easy to miss important details, leading to potentially devastating legal consequences. Fortunately, there's an easier way for legal professionals to uphold their duty of performing a thorough fact-check of public documents and other key databases.

1. Quicker and More Accurate Searches

There are three specific tools that enable professionals to provide accurate and expedient property information. Using these features, lawyers can retrieve essential data they need to process a transaction:

Flex Search is a tool that enables you to search for specific text in public documents held in repositories across the U.S. You can narrow in on a specific search term and then choose the documents you would like to read in full. It is one click away in the property search system, so it's fast and easy to start a search based on document type, year, county, state or full document text.

Map Search enables a satellite, road or combined map view that corresponds to your property search. You can view land values, topographical details and neighborhood amenities. It's like having Google Maps and Google Street View seamlessly integrated with the data enhancement you need to do your real estate due diligence.

Advanced Search lets you find properties based on more than 60 filters, so you can create a list of results based on specific criteria. The user-friendly interface allows you to see your results update in real time as you change filter criteria.

Compared to conducting individual searches in databases from several jurisdictions, these tools save vast amounts of staff time. Because of the precision and comprehensiveness of these tools, there's reduced potential for errors, such as overlooking important details that could compromise an important transaction. 

2. Public Land Records Give You Critical Personal and Property Data

When it comes to document retrieval, seek out a comprehensive solution. For example, it should include access to legal solutions with data verification based on matching against two independent sources, as this minimizes your need to do additional work. Rely on ownership and encumbrance report to provide manually verified details such as title chain and lien information. Data options include current ownership, legal description, tax information and open mortgages. As part of our client-focused product, DataTree offers three tiers of recorded document retrieval services:

Tier 1: This provides access to the nation's largest image database.

Tier 2: Our service experts perform searches on your behalf, drawing on our in-house proprietary databases as well as those held by third parties. 

Tier 3: Our abstractor network does the essential leg work of manual search at courthouses for any missing documents. 

Having access to nationwide data including land court records, registry records, planning documents and a name or address search means you can review all relevant land records with ease, efficiency and accuracy. 

3. Find Judgments and Unsecured Liens in Property Ownership Information More Easily

Legal professionals strive to shield their clients against unnecessary risk, or at least offer advance notice of that risk. One potential risk in real estate transactions is the existence of any liens or encumbrances on the property title for which a new owner may become responsible. By performing a thorough chain of title and lien search, lawyers can alert clients to potential issues with the property they intend to purchase. Title chain and lien reports include all involuntary liens transactions against the property owner as well as the history of the property title. 

4. Conduct Thorough Property Ownership Research

Property information is key in the real estate transaction process. An important tool is the ownership and encumbrance report, which details the current owner, legal description and liens against the title such as mortgages, legal judgments or certificates of pending litigation (lis pendens). Ownership and encumbrance reports give you the option to pull only the information connected to present owner or retrieve past owner and past lien information. 

These reports are fully automated and let you conclude your due diligence in an expedited manner. This is essential when clients are eager to complete the property transfer, but you must nonetheless perform your duty as a legal professional and research the history of the asset in question. 

Trust DataTree to Expedite Your Fact-Checking

At DataTree, we know the accuracy of our reports is vital to our clients' business. That's why our platform includes Verified Record, which uses multiple independent sources to verify land documents and records we feature. This is another layer of security for our customers who rely on us to make their searches quicker and more accurate using multiple filters and topographical images. Using DataTree, legal professionals can offer their clients up-to-date information on past ownership and potential liabilities in a transaction, and advise them accordingly.

Get in touch with DataTree to learn more about how we can enhance the efficiency of your practice with our Legal Solutions.





Title: Property Title Documents | Legal Property Data

Description: Legal professionals can uphold their duty of performing a thorough fact-check of public documents and other key databases.


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